When you are a business owner, particularly when you are a midwife practicing on your own, one thorny matter involves finding people to help you grow your business. Most midwives are not jacks of all trades who can master everything, so learning how to hire people to be on your team is essential.
I have previously discussed several topics, such as creating your own mastermind team and hiring & firing staff, that are very helpful when you start looking for people. In this article I will share some great tips and questions that you can use in hiring others such as a business partner, new staff, and even collaborating practitioners.
When interviewing a potential candidate for the position, there are several things that you should keep in mind.
1. Job Description
Knowing the job description in depth is an important first step, whether you are looking to hire someone or looking for another practitioner to collaborate with. It is helpful to write out a list of your expectations. This should include the specific responsibilities you will be asking of the person you are hiring. A well-written job description establishes a solid set of expectations that can be communicated clearly to your potential employee. An awareness of expectations also helps build an initial set of tasks once you have found the right person for the job.
2. Qualifications and Experiences
Delineating the qualifications and experiences you are looking for in an applicant are important to specify prior to interviewing potential candidates. Does the person have the skills you are looking for? Before doing any type of interview, make sure you have clearly stated your list of qualifications, so you do not waste both your time and the time of your interviewee. This may be less relevant if, for instance, your practice is expanding and is open to accepting a new midwife graduate – but you will still want to know in detail about clinical experiences during their training, their philosophy and approach to care. In a case such as this, previous job experience prior to their midwifery training would also be relevant. And remember it’s okay to ask for—and check—references.
3. Skills Needed
Last on your list is the required skillset for the position. Different job descriptions with different qualifications require different set of skills. If you are hiring a midwifery business partner, you will likely be looking for someone with skills in both business and midwifery. If you are hiring a collaborating midwife or a physician, then you might be looking for a different skill set, such as level of care offered in their practice.
These are just few things that you need to write down before doing an interview. Now let’s look at some of the basic questions that you can ask when doing an interview.
Interview Questions for Potential Candidates
a. Training, certifications, licenses, experience (this might include certifications such as NRP, BLS, ACLS, STABLE, PALS, RNC-EFM, RNC-OB & ALSO along with a resume). You should also be prepared to provide your own documents if interviewing a potential collaborating practitioner.
b. What policies and protocols do you have for management of higher risk situations (e.g. PPH, non-reassuring FHR, breech, twins, preterm delivery, postdates, shoulder dystocia, newborn resuscitation, or SGA/LGA). You want a sense of their scope of practice protocols, and when they would call a physician for collaboration, referral and/or transfer.
c. Give examples of high risk situations to each other and learn the management style of each provider (do you both follow the newest evidence-based guidelines or rely on what you were taught by your preceptor or learned from experience?)
d. How do you keep up with continuing education and evolving practice standards? How often are policies reviewed and updated? Do you participate in peer reviews committees? Where do you attain your information—from Up To Date, Evidence Based Birth, journals/research articles? Do you have an ACNM, NACPM, MANA, and/or ACOG membership? Do you read their journals? Have you attended any relevant conferences, whether in person or virtually?
e. If you are interviewing a potential collaborating practitioner, you will want to delineate how you plan to communicate with each other if backup/coverage for a patient is needed. This should include planning for both a vacation/day off and for the eventuality of one of you having two women in labor simultaneously and needing help now, as well as how you we compensate each other (per visit or birth vs. at an hourly rate).
Now that you have your questions prepared, you also need to prepare to be an effective and respectful interviewer. Make sure that you arrive 5 minutes before the schedule, and dress accordingly to encourage respect from the interviewee. Make an impression that you are the best, and that you are also looking for the best.
Midwifery Business Consultation has numerous resources available for your interviewing and collaboration needs. You will find some links below—and you can always visit our website to find more.
Midwifery Business Consultation YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/@MidwiferyBusinessConsultation